With Japan having one of the world’s highest life expectancies, we need to take a deeper look at the Japanese diet. Let’s see what superpowers Japanese food has in store, with protein-rich vegetables, fresh fish, calming teas, and the glorious soybean. What exactly are superfoods?
It’s not Captain America’s lunch. “Superfoods” are fruits, meats, grains, and vegetables that are high in “the good stuff.” That means there will be plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, fibre, and fatty acids to help our bodies.
Because of its numerous health benefits, matcha, or Japanese powdered green tea, is at the top of most superfood lists. Matcha has a high natural caffeine content as well as a variety of other nutritional benefits, making it an excellent substitute for coffee in the morning.
A cup contains catechin antioxidants, which protect cells from damage and help to prevent viruses. Furthermore, some studies have found a direct link between drinking green tea and improved liver health. Matcha also contains theanine, which aids in relaxation and mental well-being.
However, we do not consider your matcha-flavoured ice cream to be a healthy supplement.
Tsukemono (pickled things) can be found on many Japanese restaurant tables, near the soy sauce and spices. Bright pink gari (pickled ginger) is a sushi restaurant staple that is not only good for cleansing the palate but also for cleansing the gut.
Tsukemono has been used as a digestive aid for centuries because it contains potassium, which helps keep blood pressure stable, and a generous amount of fibre. To boost your immune system, even more, try fermented pickles. Umeboshi (pickled plum) has long been touted as a remedy for constipation, possibly due to its citric acid content, which aids in “moving things along.”
While daikon (Japanese radish) is mostly water, its almost non-existent calories are ideal for those looking to shed a few pounds. Daikon, which is native to China and Japan, is high in vitamin C, which has the added benefit of strengthening the immune system.
Daikon also contains folate, which promotes red blood cell production and is beneficial to pregnant women. You can eat it raw or add it to curries for a flavour boost.
Miso is a product of the multifaceted soybean, which has given birth to many superfoods. Miso contains healthy bacteria as a result of the fermentation process, which reduces toxins and provides a protective shield.
It has similar benefits to amazake (fermented rice alcohol) in terms of beneficial plant compounds and the use of koji (a type of mould).
With natto, the soybean strikes again (fermented soybeans). You can’t deny the never-ending health benefits, whether you love it or despise it. These sticky fermented soybeans, known as a classic breakfast dish in Japan, especially when combined with rice, contain the recipe for a well-cared-for body. Probiotics are produced during the fermentation process, which promotes gut health and aids the absorption of nutrients.